Edited by David W. Breneman and Paul J. Yakoboski
Paul J. Yakoboski As the U.S. economy emerges from the severest recession in a generation, the harshest effects of the economic downturn are likely ahead for higher education as campus leadership focuses on enrollment, affordability and fundraising. Most colleges and universities have implemented significant expense reductions, such as cuts or consolidations in academic departments and programs, reorganizations in administration, and increases in class sizes and teaching loads. While not accustomed to lay-offs or furloughs, a number of colleges and universities have taken such steps. Institutions have also slowed or canceled capital projects to limit additions to debt or preserve liquidity. With large questions regarding the long-term ramifications of the recession unanswered for higher education, the TIAA-CREF Institute hosted the Higher Education Leadership Conference, “Smart Leadership in Difficult Times” in November 2009. The conference brought together presidents, chancellors, other senior campus officials, higher education researchers and thought leaders, and the senior management of TIAA-CREF to examine pursuit of higher education’s mission moving forward in a resource-constrained environment. The economic success of individuals and the U.S. economy as a whole, as well as the vitality of America’s democracy, are directly dependent in a global society on colleges and universities fulfilling their core missions of education, research and service. During his keynote address at the conference, David Gergen, Professor at Harvard University, Editor-at-Large with U.S. News & World Report, and Senior Political Analyst with CNN, argued that there will be no return to the old normal for the economy as it emerges from this...